City Mill will open store at new Ewa Beach center
By Erika Engle
Honolulu Star Advertiser
January 4, 2012
A 113-year-old Hawaii-based company is expanding with the announcement of its ninth store on Oahu, to be built in Ewa Beach in the new Laulani Village Shopping Center.
Thus, "TheBuzz" begins 2012 continuing its tradition of focusing mostly on positive business news.
"This has been on the drawing board forever," said City Mill Vice President Carol Ai May of the Ewa Beach expansion.
"We thought it was the perfect location, Ewa needs it, and we were pretty much ready to go -- and then the market crashed," she said.
Long-stalled development of Laulani Village resumed forward movement when Property Development Centers, a unit of California-based Safeway Inc., announced in June it had made a deal to buy and build out the 20-acre site at the corner of Fort Weaver Road and Keaunui Drive.
Property Development Centers contacted previously interested potential tenants, and City Mill still wanted in.
Safeway will be the center's anchor tenant with a 60,000-square-foot store.
At 40,000 square feet, City Mill will be the center's next-largest store, and it will have an additional 5,000 square feet of outdoor retail space for garden, lumber and other building material sales.
The next-largest space in the center measures 28,000 square feet.
Ground was broken for Laulani Village in November, with completion of the center slated for late 2012.
"We kind of think" Safeway and City Mill will be open in November, Ai May said.
Opening dates can be moving targets, especially this far out, given delays in this, that or the other thing. Oh yes, and rainy season looms.
Nevertheless, seeing a long-planned, long-delayed project come to fruition is a happy thing.
"We are excited about this new City Mill addition, especially since there is so much growth in West Oahu and in the Ewa Beach area," said Steven Ai, City Mill president and CEO. "We hope to be a strong member of that community, as we are in other neighborhoods where we have locations."
The Ewa Beach store will be the ninth City Mill store on Oahu. With the exception of the 50,000-square-foot Pearl City store, the others all measure about 40,000 square feet, including the Nimitz Highway flagship store, said Ai May. Other locations are in Hawaii Kai, Kaimuki, Kaneohe, Mililani, Waianae and Waipahu.
City Mill's sister store, Simply Organized, is also expanding this year. The flagship Simply Organized store is in Kapolei, at 889 Kamokila Blvd. between Alohikea and Wakea streets.
A second Simply Organized is planned for Kahala Mall. It was announced in September, with an opening expected possibly in early summer.
"This is going to be a crazy year," said Ai May.